Totally Paperless DJ?
SAVING PAPER IS GREAT, BUT GOING VIRTUAL ULTIMATELY DEPENDS ON WHAT THE CLIENT NEEDS
BY RYAN BURGER
The year was 2001: The Internet was strong and growing very quickly. I had launched the ProDJ.Com web portal 6 years earlier; and my own mobile DJ service was doing well and enabling me to spend more time developing my online business.
At that point, I used a software program called InfoManager by Customware Systems to manage my entire mobile DJ service. It was a Windows-based database program that would keep track of the details related to events for single or multi-op DJ services.
But the next wave in DJ management technology was already on its way, in the form of services like WeDJ, DJ Intelligence, DJWebmin and DJ Event Planner. The basic idea was that you would store all your information in servers on the “Information Super Highway” as the Internet was often called–what is now known as “The Cloud.” You could access your booking and scheduling information from anywhere, and the client could now interact with you by way of website tools or modules right on your website. We’ll talk more about those specific technologies below.
But what about the idea of “The Completely Paperless DJ?” Well, as far as the technology has come, and as much as being “green” has gained in popularity, I feel that a “completely” electronic scenario is really an impossibility anytime in the next 10 years.
It all comes down to how the customer wants to work with you. No matter how much technology you use in contracting the gig, planning the gig and actually performing at the gig, you need to remember customer service. If a bride wants to fill out a paper contract, sign it and send you a check instead of paying an online contract by credit card, that’s the way you need to do it. If a bride wants to manually fill in her paperwork by writing out the list of songs, you need to do it.
The technology needs to be seen as an assistant to you in the operation of your business and performance of the event, and needs to be available to the client to help them out—if they want it to. Yes, online planning software is great and I’m a major fan of it (running with it for 10 years myself) but nothing beats personal attention, and that often involves not being “paperless.” I still find myself printing out most of the online paperwork that the brides fill out, because in the end, if my iPhone, which also has copies of their planning forms easily accessible, doesn’t have enough power or signal (if I’m pulling it live from the net), it can’t stop me from doing their event.
On the other hand, I have become completely “virtual” in other areas. I can remember the last couple of CDs I bought at the store, because it doesn’t happen that often. I use my monthly subscription CDs, even though there are places that I can download the tracks easily and affordably, because I like the format. I still use very basic lighting (no DMX) because I just do weddings and don’t need to go far. As most people know, I’m a very geeky guy, very into tech and gadgets, but I only take the steps I need to take after planning and research. So, on the topic of going paperless, I say you should use technology to your advantage, but don’t let it become a disadvantage by forcing people to work ONLY within the methods you choose.
Filed Under: Issues from 2011, Sales & Marketing
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